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Guidance for current RCMJD students

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Following UK government guidance issued on 4 January 2021, all RCM Junior Department teaching will be online until at least February.

We hope to operate a phased return to musical activity on campus later in the spring term, continuing to offer a blended learning programme with a mixture of digital and on-campus provision. We intend to deliver the safest and highest-quality learning experience for all JD students, gradually expanding in-person provision as soon as it is safe to do so.

We will aim to maximise the amount of on-campus music-making that we can offer whilst keeping all our students and staff safe. The health and wellbeing of our community is our top priority.

RCMJD parents should refer to the Blended Learning Guide sent on 4 September 2020 for further information. Regular updates about our musical activities will be provided in our weekly e-shot, sent via email every Thursday during term-time.

We continue to follow developments in government policy and advice from music industry professionals to ensure that all in-person musical activities are planned with safety in mind.

Please note, in line with government guidelines for schools, no parents or visitors will be allowed on campus unless they have a pre-arranged appointment with the Head or Assistant Head of Junior Programmes or a member of the JD admin team. Currently, parents are not able to attend instrumental lessons.

Latest Covid-19 updates from the RCM

The RCM has plans in place for a number of scenarios including coronavirus cases on campus and changing government restrictions. The following plans are in line with guidance from the UK Government.

RCM students, RCMJD students, professors and staff members who experience symptoms of Covid-19 must self-isolate, notify the RCM using the COVID SELF-REPORTING FORM and book a test. More information can be found below.

In the instance of confirmed or suspected cases, NHS Test and Trace and the RCM will communicate with individuals directly. No wider communications will be sent to the College community. Students and staff who are self-isolating will be fully supported by the RCM.

In the event of several confirmed cases at the College, action may be taken to further reduce activity on campus. Operational changes will be communicated via RCM Notices so please continue to check your College email.

What should I do if I have Covid-19 symptoms?

If you experience symptoms of Covid-19, you should take the following steps as promptly as possible:

If you think another student or member of staff might have symptoms, you should encourage them to do the same.

1. ISOLATE

Government guidance requires that anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, or anyone who has received a positive test result, must self-isolate.

If a member of your household experiences symptoms or has a positive Covid-19 test, all members of that household must self-isolate for 14 days, unless they receive a negative test result and isolating is no longer necessary.

Those who have been in close contact with someone showing symptoms should also self-isolate if advised to do so by NHS Test & Trace, unless they receive a negative test result. Close contact means:

  • direct close contacts – face-to-face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 meter, including being coughed on, a face-to-face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
  • proximity contacts - extended close contact (within 1 to 2 meters for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
  • travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person

2. NOTIFY

You must complete the RCM COVID SELF-REPORTING FORM.

This means we can take prompt action to request any additional cleaning, notify household members and provide support. This also means we will have early awareness of possible and confirmed cases, and can put in place additional measures if needed.

3. TEST

If you think you have Covid-19, you should book a free test through the NHS. If you drive, you will be directed to the NHS drive-in testing facility. For those who do not drive, the NHS will mail you a self-testing kit.

You should continue isolating while waiting for your test results.

The Royal College of Music has undertaken all necessary risk assessments for reopening the RCM, maintaining social distancing and other public safety measures.

Learning and teaching

Will there be opportunities to perform?

Our highly popular performance platform sessions will continue to run weekly. Performance platform offers our students the opportunity to perform informally to a small audience and receive constructive feedback. Further information about the programme and how to book a slot will be shared as it becomes available. Online Singers’ Repertoire Classes will continue to take place at 4pm on Saturdays.

During the spring term, we will also be running three competitions for students in years 3-8, 9-11 and 11-13/extension year. The initial round of each competition will be via digital submission; final round performances will take place live on campus, with an opportunity for each competitor to rehearse live with an accompanist beforehand. Full competition submission requirements and instructions for online entry will be communicated on Thursday 14 January 2021.

Additionally, we are planning opportunities for ensembles and individuals to record performances to be shared with the RCMJD community.

How will the orchestral programme work for the spring term?

Orchestral sessions will run digitally for the initial part of the spring term; on-campus rehearsals will be scheduled alongside other in-person activities when possible. We also hope to re-schedule our dedicated live orchestral day (comprising full rehearsals for all orchestras and sectional rehearsals for our largest ensembles), originally planned for 9 January.

How will I know when my child needs to come to campus?

We understand that parents need to plan travel to London very carefully. We will let you know what time your child needs to come in via our regular e-shots which are sent to parents every Thursday. We will always give you plenty of notice regarding musical activity on the RCM campus.

Will there be any one-to-one teaching on campus in the spring term?

After half term, we hope that teachers will once again have the option of offering one-to-one instrumental lessons on campus, by mutual agreement with parents. We will encourage teachers to configure timetables so that lessons happen when students are on campus for other ensemble sessions.  

Please note that your child does not have to attend one-to-one lessons on campus if they do not wish to do so; they will be offered a digital lesson instead. Teachers will discuss any plans for lessons on campus directly with parents in the first instance. The number of rooms available each week for individual lessons is limited, so teachers are unlikely to be able to offer to teach one-to-one lessons on campus every week. 

Further questions

The JD team work from Tuesdays to Saturdays. Any queries should be sent to the JD team at jd@rcm.ac.uk. If you would prefer to speak with someone on the telephone, John Mitchell (known as ‘Mitch’) is available on 020 7591 4345 during normal office hours Wednesday to Saturday.

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Guidance for current students

Our latest information for senior College students on how the current situation affects studies and exams, as well as guidance on how to keep safe and where to find support.

Read our guidance for current students

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Guidance for staff

Our latest information on how the current situation affects the work and pay of RCM staff, how to stay safe and advice on remote working.

Read our guidance for staff

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